Chapter 4: Duplicate Content in a Post-Panda World

Editor's Note: In a post-Panda world, ignoring duplicate content is not an option. The potential damage is too great to risk. In this post, which was originally published on The Moz Blog on Nov. 16, 2011, “Dr. Pete” explains what duplicate content is, why it's such a big deal, and how inbound marketers can diagnose and fix duplicate content issues.

In early 2011, Google launched the first phase of the “Panda” update, which would prove to be a wake-up call for SEO issues webmasters had been ignoring for too long. One of those issues was duplicate content. While duplicate content as an SEO problem has been around for years, the way Google handles it has evolved dramatically and seems to only get more complicated with every update. Panda upped the ante even more.

This chapter is an attempt to cover the topic of duplicate content, as it stands today, in depth. This is designed to be a comprehensive resource—a complete discussion of what duplicate content is, how it happens, how to diagnose it, and how to fix it. Maybe we'll even round up a few rogue pandas along the way.

What Is Duplicate Content?

Let's start with the basics. Duplicate content exists when any two (or more) pages share the same content. If you're a visual learner, here's an illustration for you:


Easy enough, right? So, why does such a simple concept ...

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